I have seen this effect in real life. We are a hearing family that began to teach my daughter sign language at three months old. She exhibited her first sign at 7 months and by 12 months used over 20 signs in daily communication. She did not begin speaking until close to two years of age, but by then knew close to 100 signs and could communicate with us without frustration. And no...teaching her sign did not cause her speech delay...studies have proven over and over that it would have happened no matter what we did. What teaching her sign did cause is a decrease in frustration because she was still able to communicate with us.
So...our last way to bring the classroom learning home is to start, or continue, teaching your child a new language. Don't know one? Then you can learn together! Here are some of my favorite resources...
With love to all the Happy Mamas,
Written by the Founder of My Smart Hands, Laura Berg, this book is full of great tips for parents on how and why to integrate signs into daily life. It also includes a dictionary of great first-words for children. If you'd rather take a class, follow this link to find one in your area.
We are homeschooling our daughter and this program by Little Pim, which has resources and curriculum for 12 different languages, is great for at-home use. If you scroll to the bottom of the page, you can buy videos and flash cards individually to help reduce the cost. Happy learning!